yonge eglinton

5 reasons why Yonge & Eglinton is set to soar

It's difficult to imagine what Yonge and Eglinton will look like in five years time. Not only is the midtown intersection about to become a major transit hub with the impending arrival of the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT, but four other major building projects--the most recent of which was proposed just last Monday--are set to extensively alter the current streetscape.

Here are 5 reasons why Toronto's midtown hub is about to take off in a major way.

1 Eglinton Ave. East
The latest addition to the glut of development at Yonge and Eglinton arrived last week with a proposal for a 68 storey building at the southeast corner of the intersection. Details are still thin at this stage, but developers are planning a tower that will consist of 662 residential units, office and retail space, and several levels of underground parking. It's likely (though not certain) that the 8-storey, terracotta-coloured office building presently on the site would be demolished to make way for the tower, were it to be approved.

The Eglinton-Crosstown LRT
The completion of Eglinton Ave.'s $5.3 billion, 19-kilometre rapid transit line in some time early next decade will transform the street's intersection with Yonge St. into one of the Toronto's busiest transit hubs. Right now, tunnel boring machines are closing in on the site of the subway interchange from the west. It's expected that by 2031 the line will carry 5,400 passengers per hour in the busiest direction during peak periods.

E Condos
Currently under construction, this two-tower condominium project will dominate the northeast corner of the intersection when it's completed in 2017. At 196 and 123 metres respectively, the residential towers with ground floor retail will be slightly shorter than the development just proposed across the street. Right now, demolition work is underway on the buildings currently occupying the site.

Yonge Eglinton Centre expansion
Riocan's $100 million Yonge Eglinton Centre expansion will see the current towers, which were completed in 1974, re-clad in reflective glass and slightly boosted in height. The existing street level plaza will be replaced by a three-storey glass "cube" and retail space added inside the existing mall. Construction will be completed in stages starting next year.

The redevelopment of the Eglinton station bus bays
The shuttered site at the southwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton is slated to become one of the extraction sites for the LRT tunnel boring machines some time in the next few years. After that, it's expected that the property will be sold for development, likely paving the way for more construction some time after 2020. It's much too early to tell what will be built, but given the other nearby high-rise proposals, it could be something tall.

What do you think of all the changes coming to Yonge and Eglinton?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Metrolinx, Riocan, Sean Galbraith/blogTO Flickr pool.

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